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Traralgon flood threat eases but other rivers still rising

Friday June 14, 2013 - 09:53 EST
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The Traralgon Creek peaked below the major flood level. - ABC

People evacuated from their homes at Traralgon in Victoria's Gippsland region because of rising floodwaters have been told it is safe to return.

About 80 houses were doorknocked last night because of fears the creek would break its banks after two days of steady rain across Gippsland.

However, the weather bureau says the creek has peaked lower than expected at 8.3 metres, which is below the major flood level.

The SES says floodwaters may still surround properties, close roads and leave some areas isolated.

The focus has shifted to the Latrobe and Thomson Rivers near Sale. Moderate flood warnings have been placed on the rivers and they are still rising.

More than 100 millimetres of rain has fallen at Yarram and in East Gippsland.

The tiny town of Balook, at the edge of the Tarra Bulga National Park, has recorded a whopping 185 millimetres of rain in a little over 24 hours.

Resident Pam Paterson, who takes official rain readings for the weather bureau, says there has been more rain since that reading was taken.

"Seventy nine (millimetres) up to 7:00am yesterday morning, which gave us a grand total up to now of 268 mm which I think is about 10 inches in my reckoning."

The weather system is expected to move further east and affect rivers flowing into the Gippsland Lakes.

At least 186 milimetres of rain has been recorded in the Traralgon Creek catchment over the past 24 hours.

SES deputy incident controller Chris Greenwood says it is hoped the water will now begin to recede.

"We will be watching it for a little while before we issue the safety return notification to everyone," he said.

"At this point in time it's at a moderate level and we are hoping it will drop more before we send that message out."

A relief centre has been opened at 7-13 Post Office Place.

Anyone requiring storm or emergency help can call the SES on 132 500.


© ABC 2013

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